Welcome to Changsha, the capital of China's Hunan province and a vibrant metropolis that's full of surprises. This southern Chinese city of eight million people is renowned for being an artistic haven that blends history and modernity with barely a ripple. Designated a Creative City by UNESCO in media and the arts, Changsha is a city of prestigious universities, world-class performance halls, astounding architecture and fiery Hunan cuisine. Changsha is also an important commercial hub attracting some of the world's top companies, with over 160 Fortune 500 companies boasting a branch in the city's business districts. The best way to experience everything Changsha has to offer is a stay in Frasers Hospitality's Changsha serviced apartments, ideal for short-stay business and leisure travellers.
With 262 units celebrating an ethos based on holistic wellness and green living, Modena By Fraser Changsha is the ideal hotel in Changsha for short-stay business and leisure travellers. The property includes studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom serviced apartments offering apartment hotel-style living with panoramic views of Changsha's skyline, all-day dining, Changsha's best-appointed meeting rooms, a 24-hour gym and a 25-metre indoor swimming pool. Located within the new i-City lifestyle shopping complex in the Kaifu District, Modena By Fraser Changsha is an ideal launching point for your exploration of Changsha.
Life in Changsha offers all the benefits of China's dynamic growth and the vibe of a big Chinese city without the sprawl of China's larger metropolises. Hunan's capital has grown in stature over the last decade, becoming a vibrant urban environment that embraces progress without ignoring or forgetting its rich, 3,000-year history. Changsha also benefits from its sub-tropical climate and beautiful surroundings, including mountains and the mighty Xiang River that divides the city in two, fringed with tree-lined streets and wide boulevards. The father of modern China, Mao Zedong, once lived in Changsha and today visitors to the city will see a sizable sculpted bust of the younger Mao gazing over the city and the Xiang River on Jizizhou (Orange) Island.
Changsha is a city renowned for its art scene and architecture, earning its status as a UNESCO Creative City for media and the arts. Urban architecture buffs will love some of Changsha's most iconic structures, including the Changsha Meixihu Cultural and Arts Centre (designed by one of the world's most renowned architects, the late Zaha Hadid), and the Lucky Knot Bridge – more a work of art and cited by CNN as one of the world's most spectacular bridges. Hunan's capital brings all the fire of Hunan's cuisine to the plate, with fiery dishes aplenty for chilli lovers. There's also a fantastic international food scene, and plenty of dining options for families during your stay in Modena by Fraser serviced apartments in Changsha.
During your serviced apartment stay in Changsha, don't miss out on the top things to see and do in Hunan's thriving capital city.
Changsha has a long and illustrious history and played an important role as a staging post to imperial China's expansion as early as 206 BCE. A remnant of those times lives on in the form of Changsha's old city walls, which once stretched an impressive 9-kilometres around the ancient city. Located only a short walk from your serviced apartment in Changsha only a small section remains, but the sight is impressive nonetheless. Atop the walls, be sure to visit the Tianxin Pavilion - a 14th century pavilion added to the walls during the early years of the Ming dynasty.
For a closer look at the history of Changsha and Hunan itself, pay a visit to the Hunan Museum, located only a short walk from your hotel in central Changsha. The largest museum in the province and an impressive architectural marvel in its own right, the Hunan Museum boasts over 180,000 artefacts and cultural relics including pieces from the world-renowned Mawangdui Tombs. The tombs of Mawangdui are truly something. The perfectly preserved tombs of three members of Changsha's Han-era ruling family were discovered in the 1970s. Today, the museum houses the thousands of texts, tapestries, bamboo and pottery objects found in each of the tombs.
Hunan's cuisine is known as one of the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine, known for its spicy and hot dishes. As the capital of Hunan province, Changsha is the best place to experience the best food Hunan has to offer. One of the more exciting dining experiences in the city is to book a table at the West Lake Restaurant. Known as the largest Chinese dining establishment in the world, a visit to the West Lake is more than just a quick meal. The facade of the venue looks like a grand Chinese imperial palace and the restaurant can fit an astounding 5,000 people at once. The venue is one of the best places to sample Hunan style food in Changsha, but is also a cacophonic, visual feast as well.
For quality street bites and to sample some of Changsha's sweet treats, try Li Gong Miao Sweet Crispy Rice Balls opposite the La Nova Mall, located only a few kilometres from your hotel in Changsha. The stall is not much to look at, but locals rate the small family-run stall as one of the absolute best places to grab some Tang You Baba - delicately fried glutinous rice balls doused in sugary syrup.
Located to the south of your apartment hotel in Changsha, the Shiyanhu Ecological Park is considered the green lungs of Changsha. An area of green sloping mountains and still lakes, the park is like something out of a traditional Chinese landscape painting. Locals from Changsha folk to the area on public holidays and weekends to enjoy the area's natural beauty and outdoor activities including sailing, kayaking, horse riding and hiking. The site is also a haven for the area's wildlife, including birds, monkeys and numerous fish species.
The Xiang Opera is one of the world's great artistic traditions, a form of opera that has survived since the days of the Ming dynasty. The best place to see the Xiang Opera is at the Changsha Hunan Opera Protect Heritage Center, located a short drive from your serviced apartments in Changsha. Xiang's operatic style includes 12 types of traditional roles, and each performance is written with those roles in mind. The performance's elaborate face painting and dazzling costumes are visually spectacular and only add to each performance's allure. Often the stories are martial, featuring heroic tales of generals and princes so be prepared for drama and plenty of pomp and ceremony.
Changsha's UNESCO Creative City status is exemplified in the city's astounding modern architecture and urban spaces. It's well worth your time to don a daypack and head out from your hotel for a bit of urban exploration. The first stop on your self-guided tour is Meixi Lake Park. Numerous large public installations border the lake in the centre of the park, as well as the Changsha Meixihu Cultural and Arts Centre - a brand new building devoted to the arts. The centre incorporates Changsha's new contemporary art museum, the MICA, and an 1800-seat theatre. The flowing, wave-like lines of the building are a wonder to explore and represent the open petals of a flower. Another seemingly organic structure nearby is the Lucky Knot Bridge, an astounding red bridge that crosses the Dragon King Harbor River. The bridge is a never-ending shape - three bridges woven into one structure with no beginning or end as the design twists and turns back on itself.
Getting to your serviced apartments in Changsha from Changsha Huanghua International Airport (CSX) couldn't be easier. The fast Maglev train travels from the airport to Changsha South Railway station in just 120 minutes, reaching speeds of 120 kilometres per hour. Once in Changsha, take the Changsha Metro from Changsha South Railway station to Wenchangge MRT station, then a taxi to Modena By Fraser Changsha.
Once in Changsha, the city's extensive and modern Metro system is the best way to get around the city and surrounds and will cost about ¥15 for a one-day ticket or ¥40 for a 3-day ticket.